Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Roamin_Wade, Sep 22, 2019.
The only pistol that failed at my club match yesterday was a revolver. The hand broke.
Perhaps I should have used a different word. Durability, perhaps? Anyway, a handgun that can't be relied upon to last more than 1000-2000 rds. is junk as far as I'm concerned. I hadn't heard that before about the LCP's. Maybe it's just because I'm used to Glocks, CZ's, Sigs, etc. that'll generally go 10,000+ easily before issues arise, and even then it's rarely the frame. To be fair though, I don't mess with the micro pistols much. Is that short life span typical of all of them or just the LCP?
Statements of reliability without a round count are of absolutely of no use to me. "I have had my pistol for 25 years and never had a failure". Yeah, right. Oh BTW I have only fired 100 rounds through this gun in 25 years.
When reading many reviews on buying a reliable auto loader best to pay attention to what is not said. No drama over reliability issues on the reviews is something to be seriously considered.
Brand loyalty can be an ugly thing.
The only way to prove reliability, with anything, is to shoot the snot out of it and prove to yourself that it is. How else are you going to know? What the gun is doesnt matter either.
Sooner or later too, you will have issues of some sort, at some point. That's just inevitable. If you havent, you just havent shot it enough yet.
As far as the brand loyaty thing goes, I think it depends on experiences more than anything else. Maybe "best luck" loyalty is more appropriate. Ive had great experiences with guns that were supposed to be junk, and terrible experiences with guns that were suposed to be great. The main thing with any of them, individually, regardless of make, is the first line above at the top.
Not really a reliability thing gun wise, but something Ive come to find as, actually, very valuable, is shooting my reloaded brass to failure. Especially the auto brass (revolver brass has its own issues too). The rims get tore up from constant use and that causes all sorts of unexpected failures while you shoot. Its not a gun issue, as the guns normally run fine with factory ammo, or new reloaded brass. Its the well used, worn out brass thats the issue.
The value in that is, you get to practice things you normally wont get to experience, and totally unexpectedly. It teaches you to deal with problems in practice, to the point you dont even think about it, and just remedy it without thought.
As much as we like the positives of what we choose, you do have to learn to deal with the negatives as well, even if you have to make them happen in practice. You just cant ignore them. Or at least if you do so, you do so at your own peril.
It was pretty the time I fired off my Kel-Tec P32 after about a year of the same ammo in the gun, which is pocket-carried a lot. Lots of glowing specks accompanied the first few shots, but the gun ran fine.
Aside from a couple of failures out of a box of cheap flatnose Magtech my LCP has been 100% with everything else I've run in it. I like to put at least a few carry rounds through my carry guns to start off a shooting session, with no special prep, and so far I haven't run into any lint-induced problems. I trust it from a reliability standpoint, but I also realistically know it's not built like a larger duty pistol and I wouldn't expect it to hold up to as many rounds or adverse treatment as well. You don't get something that small and light without some compromises.
I've had one failure out of my LCP that I attributed to pocket lint. I had carried that gun in a Desantis Nemesis for probably 6 months without so much as even taking it out of the holster. Knowing how long I'd neglected it, I decided to shoot it as-is one day. It fired once, and failed to load the second round. I racked the slide again, ejecting that live round but the slide still wouldn't return to battery. Upon dissembling it I found pocket lint packed in the slide rails and some loose lint behind the hammer. I blew it out, reassembled the gun without lubing, and shot the remaining 6 rounds without any issues. That was the only failure out of that gun and happened at about 600 rounds through it. Well, that is aside from a couple FTF's during the first 50 rounds and the very last time I shot it, explained below.
I agree with Jeb Stuart's assessment of the LCP's life expectancy. Once I approached 1000 rounds through mine I could tell the frame/slide fit was noticeably more loose and had already begun looking for a replacement, when one day at about round 1,200 it locked up on me and wouldn't eject a spent casing. I sent it to Ruger, they sent me a new LCP.
Now I'm curious. It makes sense I suppose that a tiny gun like that wouldn't hold up as long but I just never really thought that it would be that bad. I mean, I could see half or even a quarter of the life expectancy of a quality compact pistol, but only 1000ish rds? I asked Jeb this question but maybe he didn't see it or have a chance to respond yet. For those of you who carry micro 9's and .380's, is that sort of life expectancy typical of that size weapon or is it just an LCP thing?
I don't think it's simply a factor of the gun's size, as a SIG P238 or Colt Mustang should last as long as any larger gun I think it has more to do with the individual design and materials used. As best as I've been able to tell the frame rails on an LCP are aluminum, and personally I believe the particular alloy aluminum is probably on the softer side. On my last LCP I kept the rails oiled, but on this one I'm going with grease to see if it helps extend the life. I don't know why my last LCP failed, but as I said the slide/frame fitment was getting pretty sloppy before the gun locked up on me so anything I can do to reduce slide wear can't hurt.
I wouldn't say I expect my LCP to only last 1000 rounds - that seems pretty cynical. But I don't think it's fair to expect it to hold up to use like a larger Glock or M&P either.
Yep, forget what anyone says including myself. Want to find the truth? Then get out and shoot the gun. I mean really start shooting one. Want to find out which pocket gun holds up, then load up on ammo and get with the Program. Yes, it will cost a lot of money, and a lot of time. But that is just the way the cookie crumbles. And 1,000 rounds is not a lot of shooting. That should be easy to prove to yourself.
And Yes, there are guns I have that are totally reliable 100% provided I am using good quality ammo. Yes, any ammo can cause a failure, but that does not mean the gun did.And hopefully you have enough sense to maintain the gun and keep it clean.
Which gun will hold up for a lot of ammo down range? Get shooting and find out. It may take a few years, but that is the way the world turns, One round at a time. The gun is not going to test itself. Have fun along the way. Shoot them enough and you WILL find differences in quality and build from one brand against another.Some will fold like a cheap lawn chair, others never want to quite.
I have proven to myself what gun will hold up and what will not as far as pocketguns. I am now going to push one Micro 9mm to the limit. (Hopefully, given time, as I think it will take a few years and I am only about 1/4th of the way,to where I want to stop. Personally I think the gun will do twice what I anticipate my stopping the test.
I recently put 10,000 rounds through a Micro Pistol, not a pocket gun but a micro 9mm. And yes the gun ran reliably with any quality ammo. Only issues I had were with cheap reloads and primer strikes which are typical of that ammo across the board. I also broke the gun down completely to examine for wear and tear. There was noting that showed any excessive wear. I did go ahead and replace a number of springs while the gun was broken down. And I am convinced that because of the build quality of the firearm, that it will last many times that number. I do change out the recoil Springs on a regular basis. In fact use Gallaway springs. On the expensive side, but I am a big believer in changing recoil springs out at a early level.
I never said that the LCP would wear out at 1,000 rounds. What I said was, that you should start to examine the gun out as early as 1200 rds and other post 12-15 hundred rounds. I also said I had one gun run until 2200 rounds before it went down. And I also said,one person posted that his had 3,000 rds through the gun. (although that seems to be a anomaly). I also have other pocket guns that have already amassed a large amount of ammo. But they are not a aluminum sub chassis. They are Steel on all the parts other than the modular grip frame.
By the way, I am a big fan of these guns. Both the 380 and the 9mm have few working parts and so easy to break completely down and fix any thing that might go wrong yourself.
I saw a post were the Keltec PF 9 would usually go down around 2,000 rds. I do not own one, cannot say yes or no, but from my experience with aluminum light weight guns, then I would reasonably think that number was accurate given the PF9 is only about 12 or so ounces and a aluminum chassis gun. And from what I have seen on Keltec, it is also easy to buy parts and fix yourself. In fact the parts seem very inexpensive. In fact thinking of getting one. I like the idea of light weight guns for carry.
I have a range buddy that has a like mind like myself. He loves pocket guns, love micro 9mm's and he owns a Keltec and speaks well of the gun for carry. I know him and how much he shoots so, I believe him.
Sort of straying off the subject...
The two handguns I've owned the longest are a Hungarian FEG Hi Power copy and a Russian "commercial" Makarov in 380acp. I got them both in the late 1980's. I have no idea how many rounds I've put through them. When I was younger they were among the few handguns I owned, so they got shot quite a bit back then. Now that my collection is larger, they get taken to the range every once in a while to have a box of ammo run through them for nostalgia.
A WAG is that maybe they've each had 10,000 rounds put through them... maybe a little less, but probably not more. Neither one shows much wear mechanically. They're both still nice and tight.
To my recollection the Makarov has never once malfunctioned. The FEG choked repeatedly on a $5.00 box of Chinese 9mm ammo, but that was my fault and it has been trouble-free before and since.
I would call those two reliable.
I wrote a pretty good essay on here once about why comparing the reliability of revolvers to bottom feeders is comparing apples to oranges, but right about the time I clicked "post reply" the whole thing vanished. Maybe I'll attempt to re-create it one day.
FWIW, when Jeb Stuart has something to say about pocket pistols, I listen carefully.
This was the Makarov just a few years ago. The old gal still puts them where I aim them.
Makarov Target by Tallball posted Aug 11, 2018 at 9:07 AM
Not really. The question was about "pistol reliability" specifically as it relates to pocket lint and the LCP. If that particular gun normally wears out somewhere between 1200-2000 rds, I think that is very relevant to the discussion.
The only reliable answer to this for me would be to shoot it, shoot it, and shoot. Then I would have confidence. But I am thinking it should be just fine.
The point I was making about NOT pocket carrying w/o a holster is primarily reference to SAFETY not reliability. We recently had an incident that made the 'news' where a substitute teacher in an elementary class room had the pistol he was carrying in his pocket W/O A HOLSTER discharged becasue some 'stuff' got inside the trigger guard. No serious injury but some VERY BAD PRESS for those who of us who CC and try to get the public to except 'firearms rights'!
For practical real life stats: I have owned my LCP for 4 or so years now. It has never jammed on me since the day I took it out of the box. I pocket carry it in a DeSaints holster. It gets shot at the range to clear the ammo every 4 months or so then cleaned and put back into service.
4 years without a jam calculates to a 10 in actual day to day carrying... I don't believe any gun is a 10 for reliability though, not ever a revolver or even a single shot.
Bottom line - I think Ruger did an excellent job of ripping off KelTec's design!
Correct me if I've misunderstood you. Since you're only shooting this weapon "every 4 months" to "clear the ammo", you've fired a total of less than two boxes of ammo through this pistol. The number of years you've owned it is totally irrelevant. I could buy the cheapest, pot metal, piece of garbage pistol at the gun show, shoot three magazines a year through it for 15 years and then proclaim, "Look! Garbage pot metal pistols are reliable for at least 15 years!"
When ever I buy a new gun I initially put a lot of rounds through it: 1) To make sure I am proficient with it. 2) To make sure if functions for me to the level I expect it to. 3) Because I just bought a new gun and want to shoot it! I did not state this because to me this is just implied... but that doesn't mean that others would understand the same implication.
I clear the ammo and maybe shoot a few more magazines with it every few months to 1) Make sure it is still functioning as it should. 2) To maintain my familiarity and proficiency with the gun. 3) To keep fresh ammo in it. 4) After I shoot it I then feel a need to clean and inspect it while disassembled.
I can't give you an exact round count on my LCP. All I can really say is that after 4 years or so I still trust my life to it! It is not a range pistol and there are other guns that I enjoy shooting much more than the LCP... but I didn't buy the LCP to be a range gun.
P.S. Not every gun is as reliable for every shooter. A coworker wanted to buy his first handgun so I took him out, went through basic safety with him, then let him shoot a dozen or so of my handguns while showing him proper operation and politely critiquing him on safety as we went. For the life of him he could not get through a whole magazine of my Beretta 92, that I have owned for 25+ years and have never had an issue with, with out getting several stove pipes in each magazine. The Hogue finger groove grip that I love on top of the already large Beretta grip was too big for him and he could barely hold on to the gun. A Beretta 92 would probably never be a reliable, enjoyable or even a very safe gun for him. There are small guns that aren't reliable in my long hands that are perfectly reliable in the hands of a person that has as smaller hands. So when I purchase a carry gun it doesn't have to just be a reliable gun... it has to be a reliable gun FOR ME!!!!
BTW He ended up buying a XD mod 2 compact in .45 acp as his first handgun because he shot mine so well and enjoyed shooting it so much.
Agreed. It ain't the years, it's the mileage.
I bought one of the very first LCPs when they came out. When the elsie pea forum was up and running, I had the lowest serial number (there was a thread with serial numbers for some reason). I stopped counting at 2700+ rounds. I carried it daily in a wallet holster for 3 years. It is now relegated to kitchen duty but I empty the mag several times a year now. I'd guess it's close to 3,000 rounds. All I can say is it never malfunctioned (I changed the recoil spring at about 1700 rounds) and the rails look fine. I may have an anomaly or maybe the first released were better quality but I would carry it daily today if needed, without reservation.
I don't pocket carry anymore. When I did, I carried a S&W Model 37, a S&W Model 642-2, or a S&W Model 12-2 (cargo pocket only with the Model 12-2), all in holsters. All were 100% reliable with quality defensive ammunition.
These tiny autos seem to defy physics with their reliability. My LCP has never missed a beat. My Kel Tec hasn’t either. Great guns.
It means a crusty old man who didn't shoot his revolvers enough to have a cylinder jam.
I have the S&W Bodyguard 380 with about 1600 rounds through it. (It is the same size equivelant as a LCP .)
I replaced the recoil& magazine springs at 1000 rounds. I clean it periodically, so I am confident it will work when needed, but you really need to clean them , if you carry them alot imo
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